Last week we had one of those Stony Point moments that I have come to love. It requires a backstory. Farmworkers in New York are excluded from NY State Labor Law and they have been walking from Long Island to Albany over the past few weeks to bring attention to their situation. We asked if they could come and spend a night with us after their day hiking across the river in Westchester County. Simultaneously, Will and Amy in our community have been hatching the idea of holding a monthly meal to invite local friends to come hang out with the community.
We ended up with about 30 of us in the Gilmor Sloane House: farmworkers and their allies, one of the RCC international students who has been living with us this spring, a retired Korean Presbyterian Pastor who was sojourning with us, a young Jewish man thinking about coming to live here, and three Appalachian Trail thruhikers who were spending the night. The stories shared by the farmworkers were powerful and disturbing. As one farmworker shared her story, she spoke about the trouble she was having with her feet on the march (You can learn more about their journey at www.ruralmigrantministry.org).
"Step and a Half" (our hiker guests typically have trail names) immediately volunteered to hold a foot clinic later in the evening. As the evening came to a close, he went to his room and collected his foot care kit and then spent the next hour caring for the feet of the walkers. It made me think again about the need for common space where we can overlap with one another in surprising ways. These tender moments are my favorite.